Your favorite tank & reel
I have a Jobo (#1520) tank as well as an Omega tank. They both include plastic adjustable reels that will accept 35mm or 120. And they are both a real pain in the arse to load.
So I'm curious to know what folks think about the Patterson tanks or maybe the stainless tanks and reels.
Thanks for the info!
Good Morning, Digidurst,
I've posted on this general topic in the past. A Search should locate what's already there, so I'll just put a brief summary here.
If you want plastic, Patterson isn't bad. Tank can crack (I know--mine did once when full of solution!) if vigorously banged on the counter to dislodge air bells; use pre-soak and be gentle with the tank. Fine for 35mm, but I had problems with uneven development near the edges of 120 film.
I much prefer SS. Loading is easier, chemical volume is a bit less, and cleaning is a snap. No strong preference on brand for the tank and lids, but avoid Nikkor or Nikkor-type reels with the very inadequate spring device in the center; Kinderman (spike in the center) is vastly preferable, and while I've never used them, Hewes is usually highly recommended also.
Personally I like the bigger Jobo tanks. The fact they can handle everything up to 4x5 is a bonus. If you want to try SS reels then you can get them for your Jobo 1520 tank.
Thanks for the idea, Nick, but to tell you the truth I am not too impressed with the Jobo tank either. I don't like the way the lid snaps on (if that makes sense). I know that Jobo is a popular brand but I fail to see the attraction - just personal preference.
When the Patterson starts to leak you'll like the Jobo lid I'm not sure what about the lid you don't like? Lift the ring. Push it down. Seat the ring.
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If you like plastic, try "Brand X" it is a common house-brand which has gone by the names: AP, Beseler, Samigon among others. They have an extra wide-mouth loading platform that makes rolling 120 into the feed-slot a snap. As Konical said, the Hewes for 35mm are very nice (expensive, but if it's any indication, many limited budget schools use them) strong and they have 2 sprocket-catchers rather than the stuff-it-in-the-center-and-pray clips and punctures etc.
P.S. See my avatar <<<<-------- for photo of the AP version. This one is nicer than the Samigon version as it has "O" rings built-in rather than just resting on the tank-top. Makes sealing excellent and leaks not a drop.
Last edited by thedarkroomstudios; 07-27-2005 at 11:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: I just realised my avatar has photo of said AP tanks
The Darkroom Studios ~ Brad Walker
27 North Centre Street ~ Merchantville, NJ 08109
"Film Ain't Dead Yet!"
I too prefer the steel reels. Unlike Konical I dont have a problem with the Nikor reels or tanks I dont use the spring clip in the center of the reel. I find these easy to load and after not using some for about 10 years (largeformat jones) I loaded some reels like I had never stopped.
Stainless Steel tanks and reels are the way to go. They last forever and cannot absorb any chemicals and discolor like plastic can. Plastic lids are preferable to SS ones which tend to leak. Also the SS lids and caps are matched to their bottoms and are therefore not interchangable without leaking. Therefore it is best to scratch a letter or number on all three SS parts so that things do not get mixed.
I'll second Brad on those AP/Samigon/etc reels. If you want to go plastic, those are by far the best I have ever tried. In fact, I choose them over SS for 35mm each and every time. When dry, they are better than SS, in my opinion. They are certainly a million times easier to load.
They work great for 120, as well, but since I only have 2 at the moment I have been using SS for 120 just to handle the volume of my weekly dev sessions.
I use SS tanks with SS lids. I've had them for decades and never and a leak, (liquid or light).
As far as reels, any SS wire reel that I have used has been fine but the Hewes are heavier duty and their system starts the film centered and straight which is the most common (and frustrating) problem for beginning SS users.
I still use Jobo for rotary processing of 4x5 film in a reasonable amount of solutions but I do roll film exclusively by inversion.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.